Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Meet Us at Harry’s Place – The Light Horse Restaurant and Bar

By The Gastronomes

As with many months, we were getting way close to deadline and didn’t have any idea what restaurant we were going to highlight in this space. Ms. Gastronome decided she wanted a change of pace to do some brainstorming so she decided to hit Happy Hour at the Light Horse and I joined her. While we were sitting at the bar (it is beautiful by the way) contemplating who we should highlight in the October issue, the proverbial light went on. Why not feature where we were sitting?

Although the Light Horse is relatively new to Old Town, three restaurants have previously occupied this space and I tended bar at one of those when I was in my late 40’s and I’m 75 now…it has been “you do the math” many years ago. Times have changed and so did the restaurant but the building at 715 King that is home to The Light Horse holds many fond memories for me.

A bit of history….The Light Horse Restaurant and Bar has been here for over 13 years and was named after Henry “Harry Light Horse” Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee. The restaurant is a haven for the younger professional crowd, but as you can tell from the first paragraph, we made a visit to this popular watering hole and restaurant for a change of pace and we are a bit on the older side of the professional spectrum.

The ground floor is home to the main dining area and a large bar, with several high tops with both booth and chair seating and a one piece winding table in the middle of the dining area. Not sure how to describe it. Check out the photo. There is still ample seating for a good sized crowd but I imagine the quarters get pretty tight on a busy winter weekend when the sidewalk dining is closed. There is additional dining on the second floor with a smaller bar and parlor type games to one side offering games like skeeball, shuffleboard and other interactive games. On weekends the dining area becomes a dance floor with a live band. The upstairs is the party place!

The menu here is formidable without being overwhelming. Appetizers and small plates consist of 20 items ranging from Bacon Wrapped Dates, Bourborn BBQ Meatballs, Cajun Crab Dip and Fried Calamari to Mussels, Surf & Turf Skewers and Candied Bacon. We split the Surf & Turf Skewer and the Candied Bacon. Both were great and the Candied Bacon is fantastic. The soup, salad and sandwich offerings cover all of the bases with something for everyone. A couple offerings really stood out to us and we are looking forward to trying them in the future. They have a Bruschetta Menu that has 6 types with the option to create your own and the Build Your Own Mac N Cheese – can’t go wrong with either of these!

The Entrees are also varied from Bone-In Pork Chop, Pan Seared Salmon and Seafood Mixed Grill to Chicken Breast Under a Brick and Seafood Linguini. The restaurant also offers both food and beverage specials every night as well. Tuesday is Prime Rib night for $20. Now that’s a deal!

I am a big fan of Grilled Swordfish and on this particular night it was on the specials menu, so I jumped at the chance. The swordfish was a generous portion and grilled just right. It reminded me of many nights of grilling my own swordfish but with better seasoning. It was served on top of vegetable couscous that was flavorful and a nice portion as well and the roasted tomato & habanero salsa that topped it off brought all of the flavors together. It was served with grilled yellow squash – another one of my favorites – that was cooked perfect, a little al dente for that firm texture.

Ms. Gastronome got a little carried away with the appetizer so she thought she would “just have a sandwich”. Well….the Steak Sandwich – shaved ribeye topped with Monterrey Jack cheese and caramelized onions and served with beef au jus and horseradish cream – was enough for two people and the sweet potato fries she ordered to accompany it were plentiful as well. Needless to say, half of her meal came home in a box.

Light Horse also offers a large selection of craft beers, a nice wine list and a classic whiskey bar. They also hand craft their specialty cocktails. I selected their Black Fox consisting of Copper Fox Rye, Blackberry Black Peppercorn Syrup, Aquafaba, Lemon Juice, Grated Nutmeg and Salt. Although a little fancy, it was very good.

The Light Horse hosts happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm. They offer 12 food specials from $5 to $8 Natchos and a $9 Burger. Libations offer $1 to $5 off with the $5 Tito’s being very popular. Even though the bar is spacious, it is a good idea to get there early.

Brunch is offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Serving from 11am – 3 pm on Friday and 11 am – 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday. We think this may be one of the few places in Old Town that has a Friday brunch. Good to know!

With the fall weather arriving, the Light Horse patio is ideal for Al Fresco dining in Old Town. Open 7 days a week at 11 am except for Monday when they open at 4pm. On weekends the music starts at 9pm.

The Light Horse Restaurant & Bar

715 King Street

Old Town Alexandria



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